Ex-DOKKEN Guitarist GEORGE LYNCH: 'Hair Metal' Genre 'Allowed Me To Have A Career'

April 15, 2021

In a new interview with the "Cobras & Fire" podcast, legendary guitarist George Lynch was asked for his opinion of the label "hair metal," the pejorative term which was coined in the late 1990s as a way to disparage acts thought to have been all flash and no substance. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Generally, it's not a genre that you look at too seriously. It was the one that allowed me to have a career. So I respect it in that sense; it's what got me here. There are bands from that genre that I really, really like — RATT being one; I like RATT. I love their songs, and I love Warren [DeMartini, RATT guitarist], and I just like what they do, and what they did back then. So, I don't know — there's a few things that I like about it. But generally, I'm a product of the '60s and '70s, and that's where my heroes are from — from those eras."

The use of the term "hair metal" became widespread after grunge gained popularity at the expense of 1980s metal.

One musician who has been very vocal about his dislike of being called "hair metal" is Sebastian Bach. Last July, the former SKID ROW frontman said that "being labeled something that I never set out to be labeled gets under my skin. It's a pain when people try to rewrite history," he tweeted. "Believe me none of us ever set out to be in a hair metal band that did not exist in the 80s".

That was not the first time Bach reacted negatively to the term "hair metal." In a 2012 interview with The New York Times, he famously said: "I am the man who put the hair in hair metal. I also headlined Broadway musicals. I acted in millions of TV shows. I didn't get to star in 'Jekyll And Hyde' on Broadway because of my haircut. My voice has gotten me everything in my life, not my hair."

More recently, TESLA bassist Brian Wheat said that he found the term "hair metal' "condescending. What does fucking hair have to do with the music?" he said in an interview with "The Cassius Morris Show". "Should we be called 'cock metal' because we all have big dicks? Seriously, it's, like, 'hair metal' — what does that have to do with [anything music-related]? It's condescending. It's a putdown. It's almost like saying, 'Well, the music's not valid. They just had good hair.' That's what it's like.

"I don't like it," he reiterated. "Just talk about the music, because that's what what matters. Not about the hair. If you wanna call it anything, call it '80s metal — call it 1980s rock. 'Cause that's what it was — it was rock that came out of the '80s and early '90s. THE BLACK CROWES came out a year later than TESLA, and they're not called a hair metal band.

"Why call us a hair metal band when all we were doing was imitating AEROSMITH?" Wheat added. "I think we're very parallel to an AEROSMITH. I think, personally, if you can't go see AEROSMITH and you wanna see a good version of AEROSMITH, go see TESLA. They're very similar. I mean, Jeff Keith looks like Steven Tyler; he sings like Steven Tyler."

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